Trollope expands crushing and screening fleet

To expand its contract mining service offering, Trollope Mining Services established a crushing and screening division in 2016. Amid growing demand for these services, the company has expanded its crushing and screening division with a large fleet of Metso machines supplied by Pilot Crushtec International. By Munesu Shoko.
Overlooking the pit – the Metso mobile train processes primary and secondary crushing on-site.

Established in 1975, Trollope Mining Services, a leading opencast mining contractor that specialises in the execution of medium to large scale mining projects, operates one of the largest fleets in Africa, with nearly 500 pieces of equipment in its ranks. The fleet comprises some 170 rigid dump trucks, 120 articulated dump trucks and 45 excavators (60-140 t), amongst others, operating across commodities, including but not limited to coal, PGM, copper, andalusite, gold, phosphate, lithium, iron ore, manganese, diamonds and limestone.

Apart from the full range of services associated with opencast contract mining such as drill and blast as well as load and haul, the company also provides mine infrastructure works, bulk earthworks, rehabilitation services and plant hire. To further expand its service offering, the company established a crushing and screening business in 2016 which, in the past three years, has seen exponential growth, confirms MD Guy Hopkins.

“We took a conscious decision to add crushing and screening in order to provide a full suite of services to our clients, all the way from drilling and blasting through to primary beneficiation. We started on a small scale, predominantly in a coal application, and over the years we have scaled up as more customers are increasingly asking for our beneficiation services. Initially, we specialised in primary crushing only, but we have recently added secondary crushing as well,” says Hopkins.

To meet the growing demand for its crushing and screening services, the company has in recent years bolstered its mobile fleet with Metso machines, bringing its total complement to 15 units in a short space of time.

The Metso Lokotrack LT120 primary crushing feed material and feeding a Metso LT200HPX cone crusher.

Fleet expansion

The fleet expansion programme particularly gathered pace between 2021 and 2022 when Trollope acquired a total of six high-production Metso machines for a major project in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The new machines, says Charl Marais, sales manager at Pilot Crushtec, comprised three Lokotrack ST2.8E scalping screens, two Lokotrack LT120E jaw crushers and a Lokotrack LT330D cone crusher with an onboard screen.

“Notably, all the machines on this particular site are dual-powered units. With their ability to have both electricity and diesel as power sources, these hybrid solutions provide the best of both worlds – significant fuel savings and a marked reduction in carbon emissions. Significant cost reduction is achieved when the machines are connected to the grid,” explains Charl Marais.

Explaining the rationale behind the buying decision, Hopkins says hybrid crushing and screening technology is aimed at reducing the cost per tonne of material produced for Trollope’s clients. “Given the high costs of diesel, dual-powered solutions help reduce operating costs for our clients. In our experience, the cost of running bi-power machines off the grid is 1/20 the cost of running them off a diesel engine. There is therefore a major cost benefit for our clients,” he says.

Trollope has further expanded its Metso fleet with four more machines for a recently awarded project. Initially, the company bought a Lokotrack LT106 jaw crusher for this project. Changing requirements on the project necessitated having more machines, which resulted in the purchase of a Lokotrack LT200HPX cone crusher. To ramp up production even further, Trollope purchased two more Lokotrack units – an LT300HP cone crusher and an ST2.8 scalping screen. One of the Lokotrack LT120 units from another project has since been deployed on this project to help meet the everchanging requirements of the project.

In addition, Trollope has recently taken delivery of a Lokotrack LT1213S, a horizontal shaft impactor that has been deployed in a coal application. This is the second LT1213S the company has purchased in recent years.

The Lokotrack ST2.8 mobile scalping screen is suitable in multistage crushing processes to scalp ROM and remove fines prior to entering the crushing circuit.

Why Metso?

When it comes to crushing and screening, Hopkins confirms that Trollope runs only Metso machines. “We prefer Metso machines because of our experience with the equipment,” he says. “I have personally experienced the Metso quality from way back during my days in the civil engineering space. Fundamentally, the design and build quality of these machines are particularly good,” he says.

More importantly, adds Hopkins, is the technological evolution of the Metso offering, which he says affords Trollope to run “hands off” operations. Metso has increasingly been using digitalisation right across the value chain to increase its customers’ business efficiency.

Hopkins makes special mention of digital tools such as Metso’s Bruno simulation software, which simulates the production process. Bruno’s performance prediction includes all the necessary Metso equipment, such as feeders, crushers and screens and shows percentages for different end products. With values based on real-life scenarios, the customer has all the user data to make informed decisions on the right equipment.

“There is no denying that technology is taking centre stage in mining and one of its key benefits is improved efficiency. In addition, technology is paving the way for improved safety on mining sites, which is why the regulator, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, is also driving the adoption of technology at mines. Our buying decision is therefore influenced, to a greater extent, by the technological advancements on the Metso product,” says Hopkins.

Guy Hopkins, MD of Trollope Mining Services.

Partnership matters

While the Metso product has proven itself, Hopkins says the complementary aftermarket support from Pilot Crushtec is crucial to ensuring uptime for Trollope machines. “In all our buying decisions, having a partner that we can trust for the long term is fundamental,” he says. “Traditionally, we have always been self sufficient in terms of servicing our machines, but Pilot Crushtec plays a crucial role in supporting us with all the required spares and technical knowledge where required.”

Francois Marais, sales and marketing director at Pilot Crushtec, is encouraged by the relationship between Pilot Crushtec and Trollope, saying that it is an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the Metso brand and what Pilot Crushtec can offer to a customer of this magnitude.

Pilot Crushtec has, over many years, reiterated its commitment to customer service by investing heavily and continuously in service infrastructure, spares and wear parts as well as in the continuous training of its people.

“We train, develop and retain the skills necessary to keep customers’ equipment up and running – to avoid costly downtime that could threaten their contracts and reputations,” says Francois Marais. “This includes our 15 full-time service technicians, who travel over a million kilometres a year to see customers and deliver quality support.”

Underpinning these levels of service – which are available 24/7, 365 days a year – is the company’s parts and aftermarket infrastructure, which is similarly always open for business. This starts with a large stockholding of around 93 000 individual items, including about 2 500 wear parts alone. There are 20 dedicated parts personnel to efficiently manage this valuable resource, dispatching on average about 6 800 parts every month.

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